New TB blood test more accurate than skin test

By Michael Kahn

LONDON (Reuters) - A new blood test will allow doctors more accurately to pinpoint patients likely to develop the symptoms of tuberculosis, researchers said on Monday.

Traditional testing for the disease involves injecting the subject with components of the TB bacterium; a resultant swelling of the skin can signal dormant tuberculosis.

Such skin tests are prone to false positives — people wrongly identified as needing treatment — and, conversely, can sometimes wrongly show TB carriers to be free of the infection.

A new blood test known as ELISpot is 1.5 times better at spotting tuberculosis carriers, said Ajit Lalvani, a researcher at Imperial College London.

“On a global level, when you stack up those numbers, that is going to make a huge difference,” Lalvani, whose findings were published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, said in a telephone interview.

Tuberculosis is an infectious bacterial disease which typically attacks the lungs and affects about 9.2 million more people each year, killing an estimated 1.7 million. Many of its victims are in developing countries whose cash-strapped heath systems have limited means of screening for the disease.

The emergence and spread of drug-resistant germs makes treating tuberculosis more difficult and could make the disease even deadlier in the future.

Lalvani and his team studied 908 healthy children in Turkey exposed to tuberculosis in their homes. A little over half tested positive for latent TB using the two tests.  Continued…

Source

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Related Posts:


By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - HIV infections could surge if countries pinched by the global financial crisis cut AIDS prevention programs, a United Nations agency said on Friday. Paul De Lay, a senior official at UNAIDS, said that economic turmoil was a threat to development programs as cash-strapped governments start to pare back on international aid. The

Full Post: U.N. warns against cuts to AIDS prevention programs
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

By C. Vidya Shankar, MD CHENNAI, India (Reuters Health) - HIV-positive infants are over 20 times more likely to develop tuberculosis than their HIV-negative counterparts, researchers from South Africa report in the current issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases. “The current status of TB amongst HIV-infected children is still very high,” Dr. Anneke Hesseling from Cape Town told

Full Post: Dual HIV/TB infection common in S. African infants
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The hardest-to-treat form of drug-resistant tuberculosis is a growing threat in many parts of the world, but remains quite rare in the United States, U.S. government health researchers said on Tuesday. From 1993 through 2007, there were 83 cases of extensively drug-resistant TB, or XDR-TB, reported in the United States, U.S.

Full Post: Hardest-to-treat form of TB rare in U.S.: study
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - A new blood test to identify heart failure patients in most dire need of treatment when they turn up at an emergency room complaining of shortness of breath proved better than current tests, according to results of a study unveiled on Tuesday. The pivotal trial of the test developed by privately held

Full Post: New test to identify heart failure in ER superior
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

By Michael Kahn LONDON (Reuters) - Near-universal HIV tests and immediate drug treatment for people who test positive would almost eliminate transmission of the deadly virus within a decade, a computer model showed on Wednesday. Doing this would cost more initially but then save money down the road because there would be fewer HIV-infected people to treat,

Full Post: Universal HIV tests would have big impact: study

Site Navigation

Most Read

Search